Does Wealth Reduce Support for Redistribution? Evidence from an Ethiopian Housing Lottery

87 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2020

See all articles by Vincent Somville

Vincent Somville

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH)

Asbjørn Andersen

University of Oslo - Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research

Simon Franklin

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - London School of Economics

Tigabu Getahun

University of Bonn - Center for Development Research (ZEF)

Andreas Kotsadam

University of Oslo - Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research

Espen Villanger

Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI)

Date Written: September 16, 2020

Abstract

We provide causal evidence of how an increase in wealth affects support for redistribution and beliefs about the causes of poverty. Exploiting the variation in wealth created by an Ethiopian housing lottery, we show that general attitudes toward redistribution and inequality acceptance are relatively insensitive to economic circumstances although winners are less favorable of taxing homeowners. Further, we find evidence of endogenous beliefs: relative to losers, the wealthier winners are more likely to attribute poverty to character traits and less likely to emphasize the role of luck. We interpret this as evidence of a self-serving bias.

Keywords: Inequality, Poverty

JEL Classification: I30

Suggested Citation

Somville, Vincent and Andersen, Asbjørn and Franklin, Simon and Getahun, Tigabu and Kotsadam, Andreas and Villanger, Espen, Does Wealth Reduce Support for Redistribution? Evidence from an Ethiopian Housing Lottery (September 16, 2020). NHH Dept. of Economics Discussion Paper No. 18/2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3694901 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3694901

Vincent Somville (Contact Author)

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) ( email )

Helleveien 30
Bergen, NO-5045
Norway

Asbjørn Andersen

University of Oslo - Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research

Gaustadalleen 21
N-0317 Oslo
Norway

Simon Franklin

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - London School of Economics ( email )

Tigabu Getahun

University of Bonn - Center for Development Research (ZEF) ( email )

Walter-Flex-Str. 3
Bonn, NRW 53113
Germany

Andreas Kotsadam

University of Oslo - Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research ( email )

Gaustadalleen 21
N-0317 Oslo
Norway

Espen Villanger

Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) ( email )

P.O.Box 6033 Bedriftssenteret
N-5892 Bergen, 5006
Norway

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